Radical media, politics and culture.

From Port Huron to Kent State

From Port Huron to Kent State Conference

Kent State University, Ohio, May 30-31, June 1-2, 2002

To: Old friends and new, x-sds, seniors for a democratic society,
survivors for a democratic society, veterans of the movements past and activists of today.


Notes introducing a discussion:

Many people have suggested "we" need, for now, what "the Port Huron
Statement" did in the 1960's, a manifesto of our times by young people
of all ages, ready and engaged in action. A "new" Port Huron Statement now
would have to bridge many generations and represent better the diversity
of the world and engage better some of the unresolved controversies of
change the world politics.

A new Port Huron Statement would probably be some combination of a
compendium of experiences by those who did and learned what many dreamed
about, and new assertions of perspective, free from the shackles of
experience, responding to new conditions, rooted in the many fronts of
the struggle now all over the world.

What should be said in a new statement, of use for action, helping
cooperation and focus?

A conference is planned at Kent State University, Ohio, May 30-31, June
1-2, 2002, in part, to evaluate the response to this question.
I agreed to be "a coordinator," gathering words and reflecting them
back, extending the invitation to participate and helping get a process
together, trying to be a model of collective writing and participatory democracy.
The idea to start with is to start with "the Port Huron Statement" of
June 1962. Read or reread "the Port Huron Statement," or skim it, get a sense
of the scope of what we might conceive.

What holds up, what was all wrong or some wrong, what was left out,

Your comments can be directed to the document as a whole, to a specific
section or paragraph, to the beginning of a whole new text, or to the

Some ideas have been promised in writing on participatory democracy,
reclaiming the commons, worker democracy. The invitation to participate
is going out widely through face to face networks and the internet.

Please take initiative to extend and forward this invitation wherever

Depending on what happens and how voluminous the response is to this
"call for words," i or some drafting committee, will prepare a "draft" for
discussion. If we can even come to an agreement on a "preamble" to a
statement, that itself would be an accomplishment.

Several planning and discussion meetings have been held, at Kent State
and at Toledo, another is set for February 16 in Youngstown, and there will
be another April 6 and/or 7 in Ann Arbor.

A web site is set up to receive your comments and words:
Port Huron to Kent State

"The Port Huron Statement" as a whole and part by part is available on
this web site. Until April comments will be listed in the order received.
Conference details also will be on the web site.

This 2002 is the 40th year since Port Huron. The movements have grown
immeasurably since they fragmented after the Kent State and other

Perhaps this is a time to attempt a reconvergence, a getting together,
wider and deeper. Perhaps we could think together about what is to be
done the first weekend in June would not be to soon to try

I hope you find this endeavor of interest and potential use. Extend it
where you think it needs to go.

If you want to discuss this, and have ideas to help, call at

Or write at megiddo@umich.edu or use the "comment" section of the web

Alan Haber